Team meets GC President, Campus Faculty & Staff
On September 19, the design team was privileged to meet Elder Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, at the GC World Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. This meeting allowed the team to introduce itself and to discuss various questions regarding the physical environment of Christian education. Several of the questions pertained to the relevance of counsel given by E.A. Sutherland and Ellen G. White regarding institutional facilities. As a confident believer in the gift of the Spirit of Prophecy, Elder Wilson urged the team to take these writers’ principles to heart adapting the principles into the context of the current setting. The issues discussed included the important role of agriculture and practical work in Christian education, as well as the possible dangers of competitive sports. On the question of scale, cost, and design of residence halls, Elder Wilson advised the team to seek solutions that would best cultivate a “home-like” environment in keeping with Ellen G. White’s counsel while acknowledging contemporary practical considerations. The president was very supportive of Andrews University and enthusiastic about the quality of landscaping currently found on our campus. He strongly supported that Health and Wellness at Andrews University make every effort to meaningfully connect with outdoor life and the natural world. Furthermore, the student team was interested in hearing Elder Wilson’s comments supporting longevity in architecture, especially considering frugal budgets and our hope in Christ’s soon Second Coming. Finally, the president, who confessed to a life-long amateur interest in architecture, advised the team to understand questions about architectural modesty in relation to stewardship of church and institutional resources. The team would like to express its sincere thanks and genuine appreciation for Elder Wilson’s time and carefully considered advice – it was a real blessing and a privilege.
Also, on September 9, Assistant Professor and AU Senator Troy Homenchuk had the pleasure of sharing a progress report of the Campus Design Studio with the General Staff and the AU Senate. The response from the staff and senate was animated and positive. At the general staff meeting held in Chan Shun hall, approximately fifty staff had an opportunity to learn about the goals and process of the Campus Planning studio. All were encouraged to attend the next workshop at 4pm on Thursday, October 4 in the Lincoln/Hoosier/Badger Rooms of the Campus Center. Following a brief tour of the project website, some of the results of the September 9 workshop were projected on the screen. Staff and senators were particularly enthusiastic to see what places on campus were most loved and needed the most love. The results of the Visual Preference Survey also got everybody’s attention. All results of the workshop can be downloaded here.
Meanwhile, the design team has begun its conceptual design phase in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and professional sub-consultants. Transportation planner DeWayne Carver of Hall Planning & Engineering arrived on Tuesday and is working with the team to study future transportation and parking solutions. Also, landscape architect and stormwater management expert Marcus de la fleur arrived on Wednesday to begin studying the future impact of development on the natural lands surrounding the central campus. Agriculture instructor Garth Woodruff and a select group of landscape students met with the team yesterday to review preliminary concepts and propose future agricultural facilities. Finally, professors Andrew von Maur and Paula Dronen met with VP for Student Life Frances Faehner and the Resident Hall deans to discuss long-term student housing alternatives and the philosophy of residence life on campus. All results of the concept design phase will be presented at the October 4 campus-wide workshop.